Monday, August 24, 2009

Kangaroos are no longer invincibles

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Till about a couple of years back World Cricket was divided into two groups. One was the invisible Australian cricket team and the other group belonged to all other nations who fought for the second position in the game. Come 2009, Ricky Ponting is the first Australian captain to loose two consecutive Ashes tour on English soil since the biennial tournament began way back in 1882. Punter might have lifted two consecutive World Cups the lifting but a replica of the Ashes Urn on English soil still eludes him.

By claiming the second Ashes tournament at home Andrew Strauss and his men have silenced critics who felt that England had won the 2005 tournament by fluke. After the 5-0 drubbing that they suffered in the 2006-07 tournament in Australia many people seconded the fluke theory. But the Englishmen who started as favourites in the series dominated most parts of it and can righteously claim the historic Ashes Urn which remains in Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lord's irrespective of which ever team wins it.

This tournament has been another setback for the Australian team which is learning to loose quite often than not. If the performance of the Kangaroos in the last year or so is monitored it is very much un-Australia like. They might be the World Champions owing to their World Cup title two years back but their performance has not been able to cash on that tag. After the retirement of stars like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden the Aussies seems to have lost the biting tooth in their armour.

In the last two years they have lost quite often especially in the longer version of the game. Starting with the Test match at Perth versus the Indians last years Aussies have been on a decline. They conceded the ODI tournament to the Men in Blue. They then toured India as underdogs and lost the four test 2-0 loss and Ricky Ponting acknowledged his team had no idea what was happening during the test series. South Africa put the final nail in the coffin when they became the first team to win a test series in Australia in 16 years.

But the decline in Aussie cricket doesn't throw them off competition at all as they still have the fire power to defeat any team in the world. What it does is it makes the game more competitive reducing the one-sided tournaments and series, that fans around the world had become used to once Australia was involved. With the rise of teams like India, South Africa, England and Sri Lanka the international cricket seems to be on a more healthier platform than it was with one team dominance.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP